Gardman appoints Whitworths boss as chief executive

Gardman has announced the appointment of Pete Utting as chief executive.

He joins from baking and snacking products supplier Whitworths, which, like Gardman, is a private equity-backed supplier into independent and multiple retail channels and which he has led as CEO for the past seven years.

During his tenure at Whitworths, he transformed the financial and operational performance of the business through a growth strategy that saw sales increase by 90 per cent to £175m. Previously he held main board roles in a number of fast moving consumer goods businesses, including sales director at United Biscuits.  He also spent nine years at Coca Cola in a variety of sales and marketing roles.

Gardman chairman Jonathan Halford said: "Pete’s past retail success, invaluable brand experience and his strong understanding of multi-channel distribution challenges make this an exciting appointment.  These are all key factors we shall need in order for Gardman to achieve its ambitious growth plans. Pete and I will be working closely together to drive the business forward."

Utting started a six-week induction programme at the company this week and takes over full executive responsibility on 1 January 2016. Halford, who has run Gardman day-to-day since Utting’s predecessor Stewart Hainsworth left earlier in the year, will then resume his role as group non-executive chairman.

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